Tudor Money - Pounds, Shillings and Pence
What was the Money and Currency and currency like during the reign of the Tudors? What was it worth in comparison to the money of today? What were the wages of the Tudors like? The money and currency of the Tudors was all in coin - there was no paper money in England during these times. The Tudor coins were minted in either elements of gold or silver but the coins were always alloyed with another metal. The weight of the silver or of the gold contained in Tudor money determined what the value of the coin would be.
Tudor Money - Pence
Pennies were the basic monetary unit of Tudor currency. 240 pennies equalled one pound. The first documented reference to the English penny is dated 790 AD when the first penny was minted in silver. The design of the penny frequently changed depicting the images of various rulers. The first Anglo-Saxon pennies depicted a cross on the reverse of the coin as a symbol of Christianity. These crosses were important as they were used as guidelines to cut the penny into halves and quarters hence the term 'cut coinage'. The halfpenny (worth half the value of a penny) and farthing (worth a quarter, or a fourth, of the value of a penny) instead of being roughly cut were later minted as individual coins. The word farthing was derived from 'fourthing'. This unit of currency, Tudor money, was abbreviated in a written format which dated back to the Roman period:
- A penny was expressed as the letter 'd' - an abbreviation for denarius which was a silver Roman coin
Tudor Money - Shillings
Shillings were a unit of Tudor currency. 20 shillings equalled one pound. This unit of currency, Tudor money, was abbreviated in a written format which dated back to the Roman period:
- A shilling was expressed as the letter 's' - an abbreviation for sestertius which was a silver Roman coin
Tudor Money - Pounds
The English pound, a monetary unit, was used to represent a sum of money (£). The pound originated from the measure of weight which called a pound. The penny and the shilling was the basic monetary units of Tudor money which made up the pound.
- A pound was expressed as a letter 'L' which was crossed with a bar. The pound ( £ ) derives from an abbreviation for Libra which is the Latin word for pounds
A combination of Tudor money in pounds, shillings and pence would be expressed as £5..2s..6d.
Tudor Money and Currency
Other units of Tudor money were the groat, the crown and the angel. The following table details the different coins, or units of currency, and their values in relation to Tudor money.
The Penny was the basic monetary unit
|Farthing = 1/4 penny
Half penny = 1/2 penny
Threefarthing = 3/4 penny
Penny = 1 penny = 1d
Half groat = 2 pennies = 2d
Groat = 4 pennies = 4d
Sixpence = 6 pennies = 6d
Shilling = 12 pennies = 1s
Half crown = 30 pennnies = 2s 6d
Quarter angel = 30 pennies = 2s 6d
Crown = 60 pennies = 5s
Half angel = 60 pennies = 5s
Angel = 120 pennies = 10s
Half pound = 120 pennies = 10s
Pound = 240 pence = 20s = £1
Fine Sovereign = 360 pence = 30s = £1 10s
Tudor Money - Wages
Just as today the amount of wages was purely dependent on the job, or occupation. The poor Tudors would have only only traded in pennies - a pound would have been out of their reach. Some examples of the wages which were earned during the Tudor period are as follows:
- A nobleman would earn wages between £1500 to £3000 per annum
- A merchant would earn wages of £100 per annum
- A parson would earn wages of £20 per annum
- A carpenter would earn wages of £13 per annum
- A laborer would earn wages of £5 - £10 per annum
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